Open Thread: One Last Vatican Update

The positive view, short term, seems to be that the new pope has chosen to name himself after the good St. Francis (aka ‘Frank the Hippie’) and not the money-loving prick who co-founded the Jesuit Order as an excuse to convert the Oriental heathens while not-so-covertly assisting the powerful Portugese Empire to expand its business interests in India, China, and Japan. (Last time, by my recollection, there was a fashion for naming young Catholics ‘Francis Xavier’ involved American participation in the Korean War. That generation of FXs, now in their fifties & sixties, are running the “traditionalist” quasi-religious organizations who believe, against all historic evidence, that their god-made-flesh Jesus preferred the company of Pharisees and bankers to that of women, gays, poors, and other social unmentionables).

For a more informed commentary, I point you to someone who didn’t sidle for the exit the minute parochial school let out, Mr. Charles P. Pierce:

OK, so he’s the first pope from Latin America, and the first Francis, which ties him with Hilarius and a few dozen others for last place in the papal names rankings. He’s also a member of The Society — A Jesuit pope, the first one, which means Dan Brown gets five more novels… Most important, he’s 76-years old which means, quite honestly, that the man’s a caretaker, or that there is a real faction within the cardinal-electors arrayed against the idea of very long papacies on the order of that of John Paul II. The last pope, in a conclave that was a bigger fix than the 1919 World Series, was the obvious choice, but he also was 78 upon his election, and he reigned only five years. It’s hard to imagine Francis I going much longer than that. It’s also hard to imagine that this wasn’t some kind of plan all along…

And, from the inside, Jorge Bergoglio must have looked like a safe bet. He edged away from liberation theology during the time that John Paul II brought the hammer down on its proponents…

He also has ties to the shadowy network of international conservative Catholic organizations that John Paul II enabled and encouraged throughout his long reign. In Bergoglio’s case, it’s the Comunione e Liberazione movement in Italy, a group based in the conservatibe backlash against the Second Vatican Council that has been conspicuously involved in Italian politics. (Its newspaper, Il Sabato, came very close to calling for outright Catholic theocracy in Italy.) Sylvio Berlusconi is also quite a fan.

So, at first glance, we have a deft clerical politician with a long track record of managing to straddle controversial issues while leaning always toward the powers in Rome. We also have someone who may not be pope for very long. We also have the perfect product of the Church produced by John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Their papacies continue unabated.

More details at the link, as ever.

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93 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    Finally, an open thread.

    Google is discontinuing Reader in July. There don’t seem to be any good alternatives. Any advice, BJers?

    ETA: I blame Francis.

  2. 2
    dollared says:

    My read as well. The stuff on his involvement with the military junta in Argentina see guardian 2011 “sins of argentina” is depressing.

    Still waiting to hear about his involvement with Opus Dei….

  3. 3
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I’m going to call him Pope Psycho just to be safe.

  4. 4
    dollared says:

    call him Pope Che.

  5. 5
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Baud: Words are stupid.

  6. 6
  7. 7
    John says:

    A reign from 2005 to 2013 was only five years? How does that work?

  8. 8
    Mnemosyne says:

    That generation of FXs, now in their fifties & sixties, are running the “traditionalist” quasi-religious organizations who believe, against all historic evidence, that their god-made-flesh Jesus preferred the company of Pharisees and bankers to that of women, gays, poors, and other social unmentionables.

    One of them went into the much more respectable trade of writing for and about movies and, frankly, is just about the only F.X. I’ve ever heard of.

  9. 9
    Cheryl from Maryland says:

    Feh, more fodder for Dan Brown. That alone is bad.

  10. 10
    dance around in your bones says:

    I’ma just going to have to say again I DON’T GIVE A FUCK ABOUT THE POPE! He could be called Pope Hangover for all I care. Or Pope Pedophile.

  11. 11
    Cacti says:

    His reported role in actively concealing political prisoners from human rights orgs makes Benedict’s Hitlerjugend past seem positively tame.

  12. 12
    Baud says:

    We also have someone who may not be pope for very long.

    Wasn’t Benedict supposed to be the caretaker pope? Why would they do that again?

  13. 13
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Cacti:

    His reported role in actively concealing political prisoners from human rights orgs makes Benedict’s Hitlerjugend past seem positively tame.

    Youse gotta make youse bones if youse wanna a shot at running a global pedophile ring.

  14. 14
    askew says:

    Ed Schultz is leaving his MSNBC slot and moving to Saturday and Sundays from 5-7 pm. I am kind of bothered by how badly I want Alex Wagner to get that slot. And if not her then Tamaron Hall or Joy Reid. I fear that we are getting an entire hour of Ezra Klein’s moist lips or Chris Hayes repeating the same exact stories covered on Rachel.

    And what will it take for Chris Matthews to lose his 2nd primetime slot?

  15. 15
    srv says:

    @Baud:

    Wasn’t Benedict supposed to be the caretaker pope? Why would they do that again?

    As my very Italian Vatican tour guide explained, “This may be the smallest country, but it’s the biggest fraternity and business in the world”

    It’s just one that needs a puppet at the top.

  16. 16
    Gordon, the Big Express Engine says:

    “I was hoping for either the first black pope or the 87th gay one.”

    The Tweet if Gid us a great follow.

  17. 17
    Mark S. says:

    @Baud:

    Because a lot of those guys think they should be pope and don’t want to elect some fucker who’s going to live for 20 years.

  18. 18
    Mnemosyne says:

    I’m early for recipes, but I had some asparagus that was getting ready to go bad in my fridge, so I made a barley “risotto” with asparagus, leeks, sugar snap peas, and regular peas. This recipe is pretty close to what I made — I usually try not to post the Weight Watchers recipes because I never know if people can see them or if they get blocked by the subscription wall.

  19. 19
    Gordon, the Big Express Engine says:

    @Gordon, the Big Express Engine: (sigh) autocorrect…

    The Tweet of God…

  20. 20
    Baud says:

    @srv: @Mark S.:

    So is this how it’s going to be from here on out — old pope after old pope?

  21. 21
    Cacti says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Youse gotta make youse bones if youse wanna a shot at running a global pedophile ring.

    For his faults as Pope John Paul II, the young Carol Wotyjla actually tried to resist the creep of fascism in his native Poland.

    His successor was more of a “go along to get along” sort.

    The newest pontiff appears to be a “go above and beyond to make nice with the dictators”.

  22. 22
    West of the Rockies says:

    @Baud: @Baud: Hell if I know what the comment was supposed to mean…. And now, please forgive my ignorance: what is Google Reader anyway? Is it a program for Nook or something? I’m old school and prefer musty old books myself.

  23. 23
    Baud says:

    @West of the Rockies:

    RSS feeds (newsreader). It’s how I primarily keep up with Balloon Juice and pretty much everything else, especially when I’m at work.

  24. 24
    West of the Rockies says:

    @Baud: Thanks, Baud ~ I looked it up right after making my pointless comment. I hesitate to use Google anyway. The company, to put it nicely, gives one pause….

  25. 25
    geg6 says:

    @Baud:

    Who cares? That’s pretty much all that’s left of the Church. Olds, in the hierarchy, the parish houses and the pews. Nothing but olds.

  26. 26
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @West of the Rockies: it’s a browser-based RSS feed organizer. It does a great job of keeping track of which blog posts (or whatever, anything with an RSS feed) you have read. Since it’s browser based, you can use it on anything with a web browser, and have the same set of feeds.

  27. 27
    Mnemosyne says:

    Also, since we have some scientists who hang around here, I have a paranoid science-y question:

    My boss gave me a leftover fruit salad that had a lot of acidic fruits in it (pineapple, blackberries, strawberries, etc.) that I put in the fridge planning to eat tomorrow. She subsequently went home with the nasty flu that’s going around work.

    So, if the fruits are acid-y and spent the night in the fridge, can I eat them, or should I throw them away since they may be full of flu virus? Inquiring minds want to know, because I really love blackberries.

  28. 28
    e.a.f. says:

    Who cares what he calls himself. He is now the head of a corrupt corporation passing itself off as a religion. There won’t be any changes in “church” policy regarding women, marriage of priests, democracy, etc. The “church” has much to hide, including money and scandals.

  29. 29
    PsiFighter37 says:

    Thanks for everyone who made suggestions on my Seattle trip. If the fiancee is willing, I may see if there’s any interest in doing a short meetup for drinks one of the nights I’m out there when the time comes closer.

    For any Chicagoans, what are some good brunch or lunch joints? I’m going to be coming out at the end of the month…already have my dinners (Alinea and Tru) lined up, but would be interested in what local fare is good for the other meals.

    Also, what sights/scenes/cultural touchstones are important to hit upon? I’m staying in the Magnificent Mile area, a couple blocks off the lake.

  30. 30
    Mark S. says:

    @Cacti:

    I’m not a fan of Benedict, but I hate when people call him a Nazi when he had the audacity to have gotten conscripted when he was 16. I’m sure everyone here would have just overthrown Hitler instead.

  31. 31
    srv says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    I’m staying in the Magnificent Mile area, a couple blocks off the lake.

    Derpa Derpa Blues.

    There was a great tapas place on the avenue last time I was there. Check yelp.

  32. 32
    eemom says:

    The good news is, he’s gonna die and a fresh Popeapalooza will be underway before all the FPers have finished posting about this one.

  33. 33
    Mnemosyne says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    This is going to sound girly and dorky, but G’s family has a tradition of going for afternoon tea at the Drake Hotel. It honestly is NOT girly and it’s business casual, so you won’t feel too stupid wandering in after a day of sightseeing. It’s the kind of place people stop by to get a drink after work.

    If she’s even the slightest bit girly, your fiancee will like it and you will get major points for going. If there are older female relatives in town, you will get even more points for taking them with.

    Also, too, Gino’s East, though I don’t know which location would be closest to you. In the Giordano’s/Lou Malnati’s/Gino’s East pizza wars, my family is firmly in the Gino’s East camp.

  34. 34
    ruemara says:

    @Baud: I found these recommendations. http://lifehacker.com/5990456/.....irculation

  35. 35
    PeakVT says:

    @Baud: I use Newsfox, but it’s browser-based, not online.

  36. 36
    dr. bloor says:

    @Baud: IANAC, although they might be going with placeholders until they can find a younger, geographically-relevant, charismatic guy who can look like a reformer without really reforming anything.

    Like Tagle, maybe.

  37. 37
    dance around in your bones says:

    I am watching the weirdest Alfred Hitchcock episode at the moment (“Consider Her Ways” 1964) where all the women get fat on some experimental drug.

    I feel like I am on acid or something.

    ETA: Also, on Firefox, it’s very easy to add websites to your RSS feed. Never really needed Google Reader, though I had it for a while.

  38. 38
    Cacti says:

    @Mark S.:

    I’m not a fan of Benedict, but I hate when people call him a Nazi when he had the audacity to have gotten conscripted when he was 16. I’m sure everyone here would have just overthrown Hitler instead.

    Considering that I had a grandfather and 7 great uncles who volunteered for WWII service, some as young as 17, I have about 0 sympathy for the “I had no choice” defense.

    Everyone has a choice. Ratzo made the one that was personally safer.

  39. 39
    catclub says:

    @Mnemosyne: You have already caught the flu bug. Go ahead and eat the blackberries.

  40. 40
    dr. bloor says:

    @Cacti:

    Considering that I had a grandfather and 7 great uncles who volunteered for WWII service, some as young as 17, I have about 0 sympathy for the “I had no choice” defense.
    Everyone has a choice. Ratzo made the one that was personally safer.

    This doesn’t even qualify as an apples-and-oranges comparison. It’s more like and apples-and-tractors comparison. And I’m no fan of his.

  41. 41
    catclub says:

    I am surprised I have seen so little of this aspect of the dirty war. Nothing on the big LGM thread.

    Adoption (stealing) of children of those disappeared by the junta. Catholic Charities are often involved in adoptions.
    The Catholic Church in Argentina was seen as not really in opposition to the junta.

    Maybe I have too vivid an imagination.

  42. 42
    dance around in your bones says:

    “Consider Her Ways” if anybody else wants to get freaked out.

  43. 43
    Cacti says:

    @dr. bloor:

    This doesn’t even qualify as an apples-and-oranges comparison. It’s more like and apples-and-tractors comparison. And I’m no fan of his.

    Well, that’s certainly your point of view.

  44. 44
    Valdivia says:

    @catclub:

    the adoptions were usually done by the military since they ran the centers where the children were born and went straight to families with theese sort of connections. It wasn’t that they took the kids and then put them out for adoption to a wide public. The Church there was truly awful during the Junta years but as far as I know the kidnapping thing was an internal army/government thing. Only ‘in’ people got those kids.

    See the powerful Vidas Privadas for a really good take on the consequences of these adoptions (there are many others like the famous The Official Story)

  45. 45
    Redshift says:

    @PsiFighter37: I’ve only been there as a tourist (and usually staying with friends in the suburbs), but when I’ve been closer to downtown I’ve enjoyed lunch at Parthenon, and visiting the Haymarket Riot monument and Hull House.

  46. 46
    Punchy says:

    Off-shore books have a wager called “3 popes in a Year” that pays 16-1. Newbie’s got 76 years on the treads already…that may be a wager worth pursuing.

  47. 47
    Steeplejack says:

    WTF?! CBS’s flagship affiliate in Washington, WUSA, did a one-hour prime-time special on the new pope at 9:00 p.m. It was incredibly mediocre, even by the dim-bulb standards of anchor Derek McGinty, with hard-hitting segments like “Local Argentines Celebrate New Pope” and a “wild” celebration at Georgetown University that consisted of about 10 students woo-hooing and waving a papal flag.

    I don’t remember stuff like this and the wall-to-wall media coverage the last few days when the last pope was elected. Is our failed media experiment failing downward?

  48. 48
    Valdivia says:

    @Steeplejack:

    I saw that! I was expecting Criminal Minds and instead we got that. Gah. And they were doing interview after interview of what seemed totally random people.

    as a sort of ps: I have been meaning to find you in a thread as I wanted to ask you a question. :)

  49. 49
    Donut says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    http://www.sayatnovachicago.com/

    Armenian food: GOOD. Eat the cuisine of my people and like it.

    If the weather is decent, head down to Millenium Park and soak up the scenery and check out the Bean.

    If the weather sucks, head over to MoMac, or go South a little bit (tons of buses pick up on Michigan Ave) for the Art Institute..or the Field…or the Adler…there are several world class museums just South of the Mag Mile that rival any other city’s offerings.

  50. 50
    Punchy says:

    @Mnemosyne: Chuck ’em. Citric acid aint gunna kill all the viruses and cold temps wont either. Of course, yer stomach acid might, and theres a chance she didint finger all her food, so maybe you’re good. And worst case, likely your T4s and T8s are up for the task.

  51. 51
    Chris says:

    @Cacti:

    I have to say, I never really blamed Benny for the Hitlerjungend thing – I don’t know this for sure but I kind of assumed that it was for Germans of a certain age pretty much mandatory, besides which underage kids don’t always control what their parents sign them up for.

    Seems to me that what he did during his time in the Catholic Church is much more worthy of disgust, at least.

  52. 52
    Donut says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Tea at the Drake is a lot of fun! Good idea.

    There used to be a Gino’s at the corner of Walton and Rush, IIRC. It was shitty.

    Pizzeria Due used to be worth a go- that’s at like, Wabash and Ontario, so just a block off of Michigan Ave. haven’t been there in years.

    Malnati’s is probably the best hometown chain in Chicagoland, IMO. Giordano’s is just awful these days.

  53. 53
    Chris says:

    @Baud:

    So is this how it’s going to be from here on out — old pope after old pope?

    Looks like the analogy to Andropov & co a few threads back wasn’t that far off the mark. Prepare for a geriatric death parade like the Soviets had in the eighties.

  54. 54
    Redshift says:

    @Steeplejack: I didn’t see that, but their coverage the past couple of days made me and the Ms. wonder whether Gannett had some heavy Catholic connection we weren’t previously aware of.

  55. 55
    amk says:

    Seems like a decent enough feller. Let’s see.

    But def better than ratzi, the natzi. Much, much better.

  56. 56
    Steeplejack says:

    @Valdivia:

    It’s pretty bad when something comes on that hits me worse than Criminal Minds.

    I really hate that show, but I have a horrid fascination with it. It is a gory, fascist wallow in an Orwellian America populated with zombie-horde levels of serial killers, and the FBI team manages to be a bunch of smug, self-satisfied pricks while breaking every rule in the book. The Derek Morgan character (sensitive black bad-ass) can barely make it to the copy machine without violating someone’s civil rights, and that’s just around the office.

    I think I get hooked into watching it when I run across an episode because I keep hoping for some glimmer of irony or a wink-wink of “This is over the top,” but it is dead serious through and through. With that and all the various CSI and Law and Order shows, it’s no wonder our old people are terrified of everything.

    Oh, yeah: question. Ask away.

  57. 57
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Steeplejack:

    I don’t remember stuff like this and the wall-to-wall media coverage the last few days when the last pope was elected. Is our failed media experiment failing downward?

    There was quite a bit of this on the local news, too, but I figured complaining about Catholic-centric program in Boston is like complaining about car-centric news in Detroit. (For the record, the large Hispanic-immigrant parishes and the Jesuit collegians are thrilled, while the “Irish” parishes are speculating cheerfully about how Cardinal O’Malley will still be plenty young enough to run again in five or eight or ten years. For true!)

    As for our national media’s obsession… well, as they keep saying, there are officially a billion Catholics on the books, even if most of them (us) haven’t considered ourselves members for the last several papacies. But it’s a big festival in a really attractive tourist venue; I guess it’s not surprising that a lot of tv anchors would rather fly to Rome and hang around the cafes than fly to Beijing and try not to breathe –or even to Chicago to talk about yet another totally-not-related-to-AGW superstorm!

  58. 58
    Darkrose says:

    @Baud: Feedly seems good, although it’s hard to tell with the way their site’s getting hammered.

  59. 59
    Darkrose says:

    @askew: I would watch the FUCK out of “The Joy Reid Show”.

  60. 60
    wasabi gasp says:

    New popes should have to bring proof that they’re really god’s dude.

  61. 61
    Darkrose says:

    @Mnemosyne: Oooh! This sounds like something I could totally eat!

  62. 62
    Steeplejack says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    I guess I could sort of accept the “in depth” coverage on the news shows, but I was very surprised to see a prime-time special. And it was incredibly fluffy.

  63. 63
    sparky says:

    @Steeplejack:

    Is our failed media experiment failing downward?

    You’re familiar with Frankenstein, right?

  64. 64
    askew says:

    @Darkrose:

    @askew: I would watch the FUCK out of “The Joy Reid Show”.

    Me too, but I can’t see MSNBC being that bold. They’ll go with boring Ezra.

  65. 65
    Chris says:

    @Steeplejack:

    Ironic given how incredibly low crime rates are these days.

  66. 66
    Redshift says:

    @Chris:

    Ironic given how incredibly low crime rates are these days.

    I was saying the same thing about a year ago when I was stuck at my elderly in-laws, and they were constantly watching reruns of the horrific SVU. Crime rates are at historic lows, but these shows where there are awful crimes every week that are treated as entirely routine are incredibly popular.

  67. 67
    Chris says:

    @Redshift:

    Well, how else do you justify the main characters being lawbreaking psychos?

    I think the show that’s stuck in my craw the most that way (not that I watch that many police procedurals) is NCIS. First time I ever tuned into it, it was just in time to see Gibbs and one of his posse walk into a room, toss a suspect onto the table and casually hold up an active drill next to his face until he talked. I don’t think it was even one of those “I’m not a cop today it’s personal!” or “there’s a nuke in Los Angeles we don’t have time for this shit!” moments, just Gibbs being Gibbs.

    I know it’s become almost normal in today’s cop shows, but it still left me with a really dirty opinion of the show. I remember seeing that and being like “oh cool, they rebooted the A-Team and made Colonel Decker the main character!”

  68. 68
    MattR says:

    @Redshift: Mandy Patinkin on why he left Criminal Minds after 2 years.

    “The biggest public mistake I ever made was that I chose to do Criminal Minds in the first place,” he says. “I thought it was something very different. I never thought they were going to kill and rape all these women every night, every day, week after week, year after year. It was very destructive to my soul and my personality. After that, I didn’t think I would get to work in television again.”

    Even though Homeland has its own share of violence, Patinkin sees its message as antithetical to shows like Criminal Minds. “I’m not making a judgment on the taste [of people who watch crime procedurals],” he says. “But I’m concerned about the effect it has. Audiences all over the world use this programming as their bedtime story. This isn’t what you need to be dreaming about. A show like Homeland is the antidote. It asks why there’s a need for violence in the first place.”

  69. 69
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Darkrose:

    It turned out pretty well. The recipe I had called for way too much chicken broth, so I had to turn it up to a full boil for the last 5-8 minutes to get the right consistency. Mine called for a squirt of lemon juice at the very end instead of wine and that was a good call — it needs just a touch of acid to cut the sweetness of the veggies and cheese.

    You could easily make it vegetarian by using vegetable broth, but it would be hard to make it vegan. There’s nothing that both melts and tastes like parmesan cheese.

  70. 70
    The Other Chuck says:

    @Steeplejack: Mandy Patinkin got sick of the show’s relentless drive into an endless horror spectacle as well, and one day he just stopped showing up on the set. That’s why his character also left so abruptly.

    I mean sure, Homeland is not exactly sunshine and roses either, but at least it’s got real drama and story and not just nonstop violent insanity porn.

  71. 71
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Steeplejack:

    I never watch that show but got trapped in a living room with my sister-in-law this summer while she had it on the TV.

    Right about when the psycho poured battery acid down a woman’s throat, I said, “Can we please watch something else? I just had dinner.”

    She did turn it off (a little grudgingly) but it was still kind of weird to me that (a) network TV was so graphic and (b) that she thought nothing of watching something that violent with her 6-year-old daughter (my niece) in the room.

  72. 72
    SatanicPanic says:

    Jesus, first it was the sequester and now the Pope, I just wish the universe would move on to some news about stuff I give a crap about. I know, I guess I should care about the sequester, but the pope? Couldn’t care less.

  73. 73
    trollhattan says:

    Football? Hey, sure. Paul Allen’s wallet is being raided with vigor for the free agent market–very unusual for this GM and good news for the NFC West.

    Defensive end Cliff Avril said he was headed to Seattle.

    That described both the destination on his itinerary Wednesday and his intention in free agency as the defensive end from Detroit — one of the top free agents available on the market — confirmed a pending agreement to become a Seahawk.

    Still boggled NE let Welker go.

  74. 74
    ruemara says:

    @Mnemosyne: Make a tasty, full of sugar and boiled to a high-flu killing, jam. Or coulis. or chutney.

  75. 75
    Yutsano says:

    @trollhattan:

    Still boggled NE let Welker go

    That has me going WTF too. Maybe the new wife has something to do with it.

  76. 76
    rda909 says:

    You know who else is from Argentina?!!?

    Ms. Appalachian Trail-designate, that’s who!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M.....tal_affair

  77. 77
    Suzanne says:

    @MattR:

    Even though Homeland has its own share of violence, Patinkin sees its message as antithetical to shows like Criminal Minds. “I’m not making a judgment on the taste [of people who watch crime procedurals],” he says.

    I wonder what he’d say about the taste of people who watch Tosh.0. Like, uh, me.
    Yes, I am feminist fail.

  78. 78
    MikeJ says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    If the fiancee is willing, I may see if there’s any interest in doing a short meetup for drinks

    If she’s not a commenter here we have to meet her to approve.

    Or disapprove.

  79. 79
    MattR says:

    @Suzanne: I console myself with the fact that I don’t feel good after laughing at most of his material. I’m not sure if that’s evidence that I am not a sociopath or that I am.

  80. 80
    Xenos says:

    @Chris:

    I have to say, I never really blamed Benny for the Hitlerjungend thing – I don’t know this for sure but I kind of assumed that it was for Germans of a certain age pretty much mandatory, besides which underage kids don’t always control what their parents sign them up for.

    Sometimes it is not even a matter of what the parents did. Just being enrolled in school put your child in the Hitler Youth as an after-school activity. Inscription was automatic once the war was underway.

  81. 81
    YellowJournalism says:

    @catclub: You’ve obviously never seen The Good Girl. Never eat the suspicious blackberries.

  82. 82
    Redshift says:

    @Mnemosyne: Yeah, I had a similar experience with SVU — horrible things happening to children, with graphic descriptions repeated over and over throughout the hour as they discuss the case. Ugh. Mother-in-law didn’t have a child there, but she did have it at high volume since she’s hard of hearing.

    (We later suspected that the reason she liked the show was that she was in the early to mid-stages of dementia, and with all the repetition she could follow the plot, unlike a better drama.)

  83. 83
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    It seems like not the worst choice they could have made. He’s at least made some noises in the past about the feed-the-poor part of Catholic theology. Jeez, I guess my standards are low.

  84. 84
    Xenos says:

    AL: re creepy reactionary Korean vets naming their kids F.X… I have seen a couple examples of this. In one case with disturbing results (child abuse leading to lifetime mental trauma). I have never seen anything written about it before, though. Was it a widespread phenomenon?

  85. 85
    Radio One says:

    I honestly have no idea how Pope Francis is going to work out politically. Just don’t call him Pope Francis I. Call him Pope Francis. Yes, he is the first of his name, but he is also the only Pope of his name. I have no idea why this irritates me so much.

  86. 86
    SRW1 says:

    There is more than one St Francis and it is quite likely that the name patron for the new pope was not the Franciscan St. Francis, but the Jesuit St. Francis (Xavier). I hear the Fransicans and Jesuits are not the best of friends.

  87. 87
    lojasmo says:

    @The Other Chuck:

    @Steeplejack: Mandy Patinkin got sick of the show’s relentless drive into an endless horror spectacle as well, and one day he just stopped showing up on the set. That’s why his character also left so abruptly.

    Good for him! If anybody sees that Mandy is coming locally on a SINGING tour, take the opportunity to go see him. He’s awesome.

  88. 88
    chris says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    Chicago’s my hometown, I have a boatload of suggestions, here are my general tips…

    Downtown/Loop is great, the architecture, the lakefront, the art – do this, maybe a bike ride or boat tour or walking tour, and then get out into some neighbourhoods because Chicago is really a low-rise, neighbourhood town. Andersonville, Lincoln Park, Lincoln Square, Wicker Park, Ukrainian Village, Pilsen, Printer’s Row, etc – get some guidance and explore.

    Andersonville itself, an old Swedish hood that is now part Scandi, part Lesbian, and part Mexican – only in Chicago. Great pastries and coffeeshops as you’d guess. Up Clark in the 5000s. Wrigley Field is up Clark around the 3200s. My personal ground zero homing devices are set to here.

    Do the high-brow food thing, but Chicago is a low-brow food heaven – no where like it. Regional Mexican of the highest variety and quality, hot dog stands, Italian Beef, real pizza (and i mean thin crust, forget anything mentioned that might be tourist trappy). Hearty appetites are fed here without pre tense , and with many non-chain options.

    Chicago is a drinker’s town. The Green Mill, from Capone days, now a jazz bar (was used for a scene in High Fidelity), down to corner boozers, get out and about outside the Loop.

    Chicago is a music lover’s town – think about a gig. Many many great venues, the Riveria, the Vic, the Metro, the Hideout, too many to list.

    Chicago is also one of the liveliest theatre and comedy/improve towns in the country, if you’re bent that way.

    Or, art/architecture/history, too many to mention.

    Find guidance, like Time Out, the Reader, etc, and explore

  89. 89
    Pococurante says:

    “Lighten up Francis.”

  90. 90
    Valdivia says:

    @Steeplejack:

    I am not even sure you will come back to the thread but in any event: loved reading both your thoughts and what everyone here had to say about Criminal Minds. I started watching it sporadically when Patikin was on it and since then I still watch it from time to time. I am hhis because I never reacted to the violence in it in anything but ‘ah American TV’ shrug. I have to check my inner violence-acceptance gauge.

    As to the question: I have some theater tickets for later in the spring and as I will probably be in China I was thinking of giving them away and thought maybe you would be interested? would it be ok to ask you to shoot me an email at latinacr71@gmail.com so we can chat about it? /and thanks to the other blog readers for patiently reading about this which has nothing to do with the thread! :)

  91. 91
    JustRuss says:

    @MattR: My wife is a Criminal Minds junkie, so I’ve caught a lot of episodes. One of the first I saw was when Patikin goes to Guantamano and tricks one of the prisoners into revealing a terrorist plot, no torture required. Sadly, none of the other episodes managed to live up to that one.

  92. 92
    ffredpalakon says:

    An interesting and informative post.

    This part,

    “That generation of FXs, now in their fifties & sixties, are running the “traditionalist” quasi-religious organizations who believe, against all historic evidence, that their god-made-flesh Jesus preferred the company of Pharisees and bankers to that of women, gays, poors, and other social unmentionables).”

    couldn’t but help make me think of a certain person‘s father.

  93. 93
    Sock Puppet of the Great Satan says:

    Where did they find a humble Argentinian?

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